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Treasure Box series #1

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Project by Patricelejeune posted 454 days ago 5997 views 42 times favorited 61 comments Add to Favorites Watch

End of 2011 Patrick Edwards and myself found a box sold at Christie’s for €15,000. We really liked the layout of the marquetry even if in detail the marquetry was average. We decided almost immediately to start on in as a spec job.

We kept the overall layout but focused on drawing it at the best level from the period, we had in mind of course the Painting in Wood of André-Charles Boulle. We focused on staying true to the period with one exception, we did not use the painting in wood technique (stack cutting), but the piece by piece technique (classic method). This little transgression alowed us to produce a series of 4, lowering therefore the price of each box, keeping the possibility to customize the inside to the desire or need of the clients.

Patrick chose the woods an laid out the palette. We used sawn veneer as it was used at the period, using an ebony background with 20 some other wood veneer, both natural colors and dyed.

First you need each pieces on paper cut out from the multiple copies of the drawing in order to have them all laid out, then distributed to the 4 layers packs

Once glued on the pack using hot hide glue, the packs are riveted using veneer nails 5harder and harder to find) in order to stabilize the pack and make them real tough to avoid breakage. Then I did cut them using, of course, the chevalet. Best marquetry cutting tool ever in my opinion and i used quiet a variety of devices and machines and always came back to it.

While cutting I keep the pieces on my tray organized by colors, so it is easier to find were they go afterwards.

Then the pieces are gradually put together on a tray as an exploded view of the final picture.

When all the pieces are cut, it is time for shading. Doing a map is always welcome, and it gives me something to do home at night when I am not interested in the program.

The picture is shaded in hot sand. With so many pieces to cut it gives 4 time more pieces to shade. Better be in a zen mode at that time. And why is it always in the summer.

The pieces are put back together in an exploded view, this will help putting together the picture later.

Finished with that step everything is safely stored away.

Time to cut the background. Ebony is really hard on the blade, I used couple dozens there.

Once the background is cut the marquetry picture is put together on an assembly board using hot hide glue.

A little mastic for the couple gasp here and there, and done with the marquetry.

In the meantime Patrick was working on the box itself. Hand made joinery, full blind dovetail for the corners. Patrick did a post couple weeks ago on dovetails featuring the full blind one.

The inside of that box is going to be olive, veneer for the side and solid for the compartment.

There is a hidden compartment…

... which is decorated with a “frisage” as well as the inside of the lid.

The outside is veneered using liquid hide glue and scraped. I put some alcohol on it to get a nice picture there.

The interior are finished…

...then the boxes are glued with Old Brown Glue. It is typically french to finish the parts before glueing. As it is often a french polish finish this way you have perfect finish in the corners, and using hide glue cleans up so easily with water.

Time to finish the veneering with the outside banding.

Ebony and Boxwood string inlay and banding are produced.

And glued, again using Old Brown glue as it is super easy to use and is reversible.

Then using Lie-Nielsen Inlay tools, I inlaid the last corner inlay.

Finished with the veneering. Final scraping and sanding before finishing.

Traditional pore filling with pumice. You have to change your web constantly to avoid dragging to much black from the ebony in the lighter pores.

French polish after that.

We did to different inside for that series, a jewel box ebony inside with goat skin parchment bringing a nice contrast.

With 2 removable trays and a antique miror held by an hand plane boxwood and ebonized molding

The most popular was the letterbox with the hidden compartment.

All our work now receive our label Edwards & Lejeune

I received in 2012 Best of Show at the Design in Wood show for the marquetry with that box.

Thank you so much for reading this post.

A little pick at our next boxes series.

-- Patrice lejeune





61 comments so far

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

232 posts in 933 days


#1 posted 454 days ago

I’m in awe and speechless. Words cannot describe the beauty in this.

-- J.C.Sellers

View tefinn's profile (online now)

tefinn

1199 posts in 1035 days


#2 posted 454 days ago

All I can say is unbelievable! That’s the most beautiful and incredible piece of art in wood I have ever seen!

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View danofpaco's profile

danofpaco

116 posts in 515 days


#3 posted 454 days ago

Exquisite.

-- Dan :: Minnesota

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

2947 posts in 1265 days


#4 posted 454 days ago

Now that is what I call ”ART” .
Exceptional work .

-- Kiefer 松

View bonobo's profile

bonobo

231 posts in 655 days


#5 posted 454 days ago

After looking at the shots of all the pieces in the blue trays, I can see that if I tried to do something like this, I would wind up in a mental hospital.

Thank you for posting all these astounding photos.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2102 posts in 2522 days


#6 posted 454 days ago

Your the man, you and Patrick.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2175 days


#7 posted 454 days ago

This is a true work of art fantastic work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4738 posts in 1441 days


#8 posted 454 days ago

I think they’ve said it all but might I add….WOW! Patience, precision, and persistence add to knowledge and skill. Better than the original.

Thank you for sharing the detail.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15661 posts in 2817 days


#9 posted 454 days ago

This is just an amazing display of patience, talent, and skill!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View JeremyPringle's profile

JeremyPringle

281 posts in 1072 days


#10 posted 454 days ago

Wow.

View SuburbanDon's profile

SuburbanDon

482 posts in 1592 days


#11 posted 454 days ago

Wow very nice indeed.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View sras's profile

sras

3780 posts in 1727 days


#12 posted 454 days ago

It is a lot of fun to see what you two create! Thanks for bringing us along!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View oakwood's profile

oakwood

320 posts in 668 days


#13 posted 454 days ago

Just stunning. You two do the most wonderful work. The postings are truly wonderful as well.

View rustynails's profile

rustynails

444 posts in 1127 days


#14 posted 454 days ago

Patrice glad you and Patrick got the last box finish it looks great. I wish I could have seen the other box with the goat sink parchment lining when I was there. You guys are definably masters at your craft. Please keep us up on the progress of your new box as well as I am sure everyone would love to see it all come together.

Richard

View tomd's profile

tomd

1725 posts in 2368 days


#15 posted 454 days ago

What beautiful marquetry, fantastic workmanship.

-- Tom D

showing 1 through 15 of 61 comments

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